Shashi Tharoor is at present rejuvenating at a Ayurvedic centre in Kerala.

Shashi Tharoor is at present rejuvenating at a Ayurvedic centre in Kerala.

Police quiz Sunanda friend, domestic help; Tharoor, 11 others to be lined up soon

Tharoor seeks professional probe; my silence is not sinister

Agency Report | New Delhi/ Thrissur (Kerala) | 9 January, 2015 | 10:20 PM

A friend of Sunanda Pushkar, who had dropped her to a south Delhi hotel from the airport, has been questioned in connection with her murder, with another 12 people including her husband Shashi Tharoor will be soon lined up for questioning.

Sunil Trakru, a businessman and a close friend of Pushkar, has been questioned twice, a few days before the registration of FIR (first information report) Jan 4, a police officer said.

He said Trakru’s name had surfaced during the questioning of Tharoor’s domestic help Shri Narayan Singh in November last year. Singh had again been questioned Thursday.

Singh was questioned for a few hours, during which he revealed that the couple had a fight a day before Pushkar was found dead.

Singh had also told police that Trakru had dropped Pushkar from the Delhi airport to Hotel Leela Palace where she was found dead in her room (345) Jan 17.

The couple had returned from Kerala Jan 14 but Tharoor went to his house in Lodhi Colony, while Pushkar left for the hotel.

Delhi police officials also said that they will soon question 12 more people including Tharoor, Pushkar’s son Shiv Menon, her two brothers Ashish Dass and Rajesh Pushkar and her cardiologist Rajat Mohan.

They are also looking for a person named ‘Kaitie’ whose name surfaced during arguments between Tharoor and Pushkar, overheard by Singh.

Police will also quiz Tharoor’s personal assistant (PA) Rakesh Kumar Sharma, and another family friend Sanjay Dewan, who found Pushkar dead when he came to enquire about her health.

At that time, Sharma was also present in the hotel.

Senior journalist Nalini Singh, with whom Pushkar was believed to be in touch over phone before her death, will also be called to join the probe, the officer added.

Besides, two of Tharoor’s officers on special duty (OSD) Shiv Kumar Prasad and Abhinav Kumar, along with driver Bajrangi will also be questioned.

The special team investigating the murder visited the hotel on Friday where they questioned the staff and also went to the room where Pushkar had stayed.

Police said Tuesday that Pushkar was poisoned to death.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor Friday sought a “professional” investigation into his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death without “political” pressure and a “pre-determined” mind.

“I have lost my wife and have not been allowed to mourn in peace,” the former central minister told the media outside at a private ayurvedic centre where he has been undergoing a 14-day general wellness treatment since Dec 26.

“I was completely taken aback because none of us in the family had any reason to believe that there was foul play in her passing away,” he said.

“It is very important that this (investigation) be done professionally without any pre-determined outcome or political pressure,” he added.

Pushkar was found dead in a Delhi hotel room Jan 17, 2014 in mysterious circumstances. Police registered a murder case earlier this month based on a medical report by AIIMS which said was poisoned.

Tharoor said he had been silent on the issue for a whole year in order to help police establish the facts of the case. “I have pledged my full cooperation with police and there have been numerous reports that my silence is sinister.

“The reason (for my silence) would be obvious that when a police inquiry is going on, it is my duty not to undermine it in any way.

“I have been silent, saying let the police do the work,” he said. “My interest as a bereaved husband is to the why and what happened and not to chase TRPs.”

Tharoor said he was “troubled” by the conclusion of the investigation and the way it was carried out. “There has been a lot of misinformation, distortion and outright lies that has been coming out. A fair enquiry has to be there on Sunanda’s sad demise. I will not engage in public discussion and I have written to the Delhi Police yesterday (Thursday) that I would fully cooperate with them and would like answer all their questions at the earliest,” said Tharoor ignoring a volley of questions by the media, he went back inside the ayurveda centre. (IANS)